Jordan Hicks

Extra Points: Safeties, Eagles, Peterson

With Eric Reid, Tre Boston and Kenny Vaccaro unemployed after 2 1/2 months of free agency, safety market’s served as a persistent talking about this offseason. One former defensive coordinator attributed this oddity to teams having difficulty placing values on modern safeties due to myriad responsibilities. An agent for a top safety has a darker view of what’s transpiring.

(Teams) are basically avoiding everyone because they’re ignoring Reid,” the agent told CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora. “That’s exactly how I am looking at it, absolutely. Our (client) hasn’t done anything like that in his past and neither have most of these guys. But that’s exactly what we think is going on here. They just shut the safety market down entirely, and the guy who got paid, by and large, didn’t make much.

It’s the most asinine thing I’ve ever seen that you can tell us that this group of safeties aren’t worth signing, period, at this point. And saying maybe some other guys have turned down $2MM or $2.5MM, but we have a pretty damn good safety and we haven’t even seen money like that on the table. I know for our guy, we haven’t had a contract offer at all; not one on paper and only one verbal offer, and that offer was for the league minimum with a split and no guaranteed money. So that’s not even an offer; that’s an insult. For these guys to have no jobs right now you can’t tell me ‘that’s just the market.’ That’s BS.”

“The guy who got paid” is likely Morgan Burnett, the other member of what was viewed by some as the top quartet. The Steelers signed him for three years and $14.35MM — 27th in the league in terms of AAV. Reid currently has a collusion grievance against the NFL pending, but Boston and Vaccaro are both in their primes and have received scant interest. Our Rory Parks asked PFR readers which of these players will sign first, and Vaccaro is winning that vote. Both Reid and Vaccaro appeared on PFR’s original Top 50 Free Agents list.

Here’s the latest from around the league:

  • Adrian Peterson is also trying to fetch a contract, though age and injury concerns are likely to blame for his unattached status. Peterson mentioned the Texans and Saints again as possible fits while adding some other teams to the mix. Although, he hasn’t received much interest as of yet. “You know obviously I’ve mentioned Houston a couple of times,” Peterson said on a YouTube video (via Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk). “I feel like Green Bay wouldn’t be a bad look as well. Carolina. There’s some options out there. You know Miami. Down there in (Los Angeles). That would be a nice look, too, with Todd Gurley. You see around the league they have a two-back system. Guys are not really not pounding the ball 20, 30 times a game, so I think that leaves the door open for a couple of opportunities for me.”
  • The Eagles saw Jordan Hicks participate in individual drills during OTAs, per Jimmy Kempski of PhillyVoice.com. Hicks ruptured an Achilles’ tendon in Week 7 of last year but is believed to be ahead of schedule. After releasing Mychal Kendricks, the Eagles are counting on their middle linebacker to return.
  • Derek Barnett practiced fully for the Eagles, Kempski notes.. The second-year defensive end underwent sports hernia surgery shortly after the season ended, and it appears he’s recovered sufficiently.
  • An agent who represents some upper-echelon quarterbacks expects Aaron Rodgers to sign a deal that includes $110MM fully guaranteed within the contract’s first three years, and La Canfora writes that number may be low. Matt Ryan‘s $94.5MM in full guarantees represents the league’s current bar, and Rodgers, despite having two years left on his current Packers contract, should be able to demand a figure north of that.

2018 Proven Performance Escalators

According to the NFL’s contractual bargaining agreement, players drafted in rounds three though seven are entitled to raises during the fourth year of their respective rookie contracts. The pay bumps are tied to playing time — a player must have played in 35% of his team’s offensive or defensive snaps in two of his first three seasons, or averaged 35% playing time cumulatively during that period.Jay Ajayi (Vertical)

If one of these thresholds is met, the player’s salary is elevated to the level of that year’s lowest restricted free agent tender — that figure should be around $1.908MM in 2018. Players selected in the first or second round, undrafted free agents, and kickers/punters are ineligible for the proven performance escalator.

Here are the players who will see their salary rise in 2018 courtesy of the proven performance escalator:

49ers: Trent Brown, T; Eli Harold, LB

Bears: Adrian Amos, S

Bengals: Tyler Kroft, TE; Josh Shaw, DB

Bills: John Miller, G

Broncos: Max Garcia, G; Trevor Siemian, QB

Browns: Duke Johnson, RB

Buccaneers: Kwon Alexander, LB

Cardinals: David Johnson, RB; J.J. Nelson, WR

Chargers: Kyle Emanuel, LB

Chiefs: Chris Conley, WR; Steven Nelson, CB

Colts: Henry Anderson, DE; Mark Glowinski, G; Denzelle Good, OL

Dolphins: Bobby McCain, CB

Eagles: Jay Ajayi, RB; Jordan Hicks, LB

Falcons: Grady Jarrett, DT

Jaguars: A.J. Cann, OL

Lions: Quandre Diggs, CB

Packers: Jake Ryan, LB

Panthers: Daryl Williams, T

Patriots: Trey Flowers, DE; Shaq Mason, G

Raiders: Clive Walford, TE

Rams: Jamon Brown, G

Ravens: Za’Darius Smith, LB

Redskins: T.J. Clemmings, OL; Jamison Crowder, WR

Saints: Tyeler Davison, DT

Seahawks: Tyler Lockett, WR

Steelers: Jesse James, TE

Vikings: Stefon Diggs, WR; Danielle Hunter, DE

OverTheCap.com was essential in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images. 

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/31/17

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

  • Promoted to active roster: OL Maurquice Shakir
  • Released: WR Griff Whalen

Buffalo Bills

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Miami Dolphins

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Eagles LB Jordan Hicks Done For Season

Eagles linebacker Jordan Hicks will miss the remainder of the 2017 season after suffering a ruptured Achilles in Monday night’s victory over the Redskins, head coach Doug Pederson announced today. Zach Berman and Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Inquirer first reported last night that Hicks had injured his Achilles.Jordan Hicks (Vertical)

[RELATED: Eagles OT Jason Peters Tears ACL]

Hicks, 25, has been a full-time starter for most of his time in Philadelphia, but he’s only played 70% of the club’s defensive snaps this season. That’s largely because the former third-round pick has left two previous games with injury, allowing fellow linebacker Mychal Kendricks to see more time. After offering excellent production from 2015-16, Hicks has thus far graded as only the No. 54 linebacker among 81 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus, but it’s fair to assume Hicks’ health questions have affected his performance.

Even after Hicks is placed on injured reserve, the Eagles will still have six linebackers available on their defensive depth chart. Kendricks and Nigel Bradham figure to continue leading the unit in snaps, but Najee Goode, Joe Walker, Nathan Gerry, and Kamu Grugier-Hill could all more candidates to see more playing time. Kendricks, notably, was inactive on Monday with an injury of his own, and the rest of Philadelphia’s ‘backers have played mostly on special teams.

The Eagles don’t have a linebacker on their practice squad to promote, but they could scour the free agent market in search of a Hicks replacement. Just last week, Philadelphia auditioned veteran defenders Sean Spence, Donald Butler, and Jelani Jenkins, any of whom could become a reinforcement for the Eagles No. 14-DVOA-ranked defense. Other free agent linebackers include Perry Riley, Erin Henderson, Audie Cole, and Philip Wheeler.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Giants, Eli, Redskins, Eagles

Although the Jaguars have been speculatively mentioned as a trade destination for Giants quarterback Eli Manning given the presence of executive VP Tom Coughlin, Manning has no interest in being dealt, as Bob Glauber of Newsday writes. “I’ve not heard [the Jacksonville speculation], I’ve not felt it, not thinking about it,”Manning said. “I don’t want to play anywhere else. I love this team, love this organization, and I want to be here.” New York, of course, won its first game of the season on Sunday night, while Jacksonville fell to 3-3 with a loss to the Rams. Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles‘ role in the team’s offense has been severely reduced, but general manager David Caldwell & Co. will likely finish out the campaign with Bortles under center before targeting signal-caller upgrades in the offseason, as Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com writes.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • On the heels of their dominant first win of the season over the Broncos on Sunday night, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY pointed out (Twitter link) that Giants coach Ben McAdoo gave play-calling responsibilities to offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan for the team’s Week 6 affair. McAdoo had been a subject of criticism given the Giants nightmarish start to the season, but it looked like the change may have things turned around, at least for the time being, as New York avoided many big mistakes with the offense going to a more run-oriented approach. The team rushed for a total of 148 yards on the game, with starter Orleans Darkwa accounting for 117 of those yards on 21 carries.
  • In another Giants twist, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is scheduled to report to the team’s facility tomorrow morning for a meeting/update on his status, tweets Josina Anderson of ESPN.com. The 10-year cornerback was suspended indefinitely last week for a number of events, which included walking out on a team meeting as well as storming off the field after the Giants lost to the Chargers two weeks ago. Rodgers-Cromartie was one of the best nickelbacks in football last season with him being voted to a second team All-pro by Pro Football Focus and the Associated Press in 2016-17. However, New York’s defense didn’t seem to miss the veteran defensive back all too much as the team picked off Trevor Siemian twice and held the Broncos out of the endzone for much of the game last night.
  • The Redskins will likely work out free agent kickers this week as incumbent Dustin Hopkins battles a hip injury, head coach Jay Gruden told reporters, including Master Tesfatsion of the Washington Post (Twitter link). Hopkins — who is dealing with a partially torn hip and will miss Week 7, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com — converted both of his field goal attempts on Sunday, but missed an extra point that nearly proved crucial in a tight victory over the 49ers. On the season, Hopkins has been successful on 81.8% of field goals, and both of his misses were on 50+ yard attempts.
  • The Eagles worked out linebackers Donald Butler, Sean Spence and Jelani Jenkins today, tweets Field Yates of ESPN.com. After starter Jordan Hicks suffered a foot injury this past Thursday night, it looks like Philadelphia is on the hunt for a potential replacement. Hicks, 25, does not yet have a timetable of when he’s likely to return, and with Joe Walker being the only other middle linebacker currently on the roster, if Philadelphia was to sign a free agent, the player would stand to have a legitimate chance of getting meaningful playing time.

NFC Notes: Eagles, Hicks, Packers, Bears

Eagles linebacker Jordan Hicks suffered a hand injury while exiting a pool on Thursday, according to Jimmy Kempski of the Philly Voice, but the issue isn’t expected to be serious, tweets Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Hicks will only be sidelined for three-to-four weeks, per Bowen, meaning he should be available for the start of training camp. Currently on vacation in Greece, Hicks sent video of his hand to Eagles doctors in order for the club to get some idea regarding the severity of the injury. Hicks, 25, played 95% of Philadelphia’s defensive snaps a season ago, managing 86 tackles and five interceptions while grading as the league’s No. 5 linebacker, per Pro Football Focus, which labeled Hicks as the NFL’s second-best coverage ‘backer.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • Although general manager Ted Thompson and the rest of the Packers‘ front office doesn’t often target external free agents, they did sign defensive lineman Ricky Jean-Francois to a one-year, $3MM deal in March. “To get that phone call that the Green Bay Packers want you is rare,” Jean-Francois tells Stu Courtney of PackersNews.com. “It’s rare that you see them go outside and pick guys up and if they do, it’s for a reason. On the first day of meetings when all the new guys stand up, I’m used to seeing like five or six guys stand up and there were only three guys to stand up. I’m blessed to get picked up.” Jean-Francois was released by the Redskins before signing with Green Bay, so he won’t affect the Packers’ compensatory picks (a key factor in Green Bay’s decision making). Entering his age-30 campaign, Jean-Francois will back up Mike Daniels and Kenny Clark on a Packers defensive line that already ranked sixth in adjusted sack rate in 2016.
  • Like Jean-Francois, cornerback Prince Amukamara landed a one-year pact with an NFC North club this spring, as the veteran defensive back signed a deal with the Bears. But he’s hoping his relationship with Chicago extends beyond simply the 2017 season, as Chris Emma of CBS Chicago writes. “I don’t want to start bouncing around teams,” Amukamara said. “I want to find a home somewhere soon, what I did in New York. I’m trying to give this team everything I’ve got. Every one-year deal is a prove-it deal for the player. That’s just my mindset this year.” Amukamara, 28, will be playing on his second consecutive single-season accord after spending the 2016 campaign in Jacksonville. While he did earn a bump in pay (from $5MM to $7MM), it’s understandable that Amukamara hopes to ink a long-term deal.
  • The Eaglesdecision to waive wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham was due in part to the club’s confidence in fellow pass-catchers Marcus Johnson and Mack Hollins, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com. Johnson, a 2016 undrafted free agent out of Texas, spent last year bouncing on and off Philadelphia’s practice squad before earning a futures deal in January. He has yet to appear in an NFL contest, but the Eagles clearly like what they’ve seen from Johnson on the practice field. Hollins, meanwhile, was selected in the fourth round in the 2017 draft, and should spent most his rookie season in special teams. Philadelphia currently has 11 wide receivers on its depth chart, including new free agent additions Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith.

NFC Rumors: Kelly, Eagles, Randle, Cowboys

Chip Kelly told Philadelphia-area media, including Jeff McLane of Philly.com, he didn’t communicate directly with Howie Roseman last season before being fired by the Eagles. The current 49ers coach said owner Jeffrey Lurie constructed an arrangement where the then-demoted Roseman sent messages to the then-empowered Kelly through player personnel VP Ed Marynowitz.

Kelly also asserted he didn’t control the contracts given to Byron Maxwell and DeMarco Murray, with the three-year Eagles coach telling media Roseman, who has since traded both players, constructed those deals.

I wasn’t the personnel guy. I was in charge of the 90-man roster,” Kelly said. “But I didn’t negotiate and say this guy gets this amount of money and that guy gets that amount of money. And Ed was the one who ran our personnel department. That really fell on Ed’s shoulders in terms of how he handled everything. And Ed communicated with him all the time.

Here’s some more on the Eagles and news from some additional NFC teams.

  • Former Eagles first-round linebacker Marcus Smith will move to defensive end in Jim Schwartz‘s 4-3 scheme, Zach Berman of Philly.com reports. Doug Pederson told media, including Berman, his linebackers right now will consist of Mychal Kendricks on the weak side, Jordan Hicks in the middle and Nigel Bradham on the strong side.
  • The Vikings inquired about Rueben Randle early in free agency, Darren Wolfson of KSTP tweets, but no substantial interest materialized prior to Randle choosing to trek to Philadelphia.
  • The Giants, however, had no interest in re-signing Randle, Jordan Raanan of the Star-Ledger tweets. John Mara said last week the Giants were going to seek receiving help, but the market has been mostly raided in terms of notable first-time free agents. Veterans Roddy White, Marques Colston and Percy Harvin remain unsigned.
  • The Cowboys are expected meet with Paxton Lynch again before the draft after doing so in a productive meeting today, NFL.com’s Rand Getlin tweets. Dallas is allotted 30 visits with prospects.
  • Washington safety Kyshoen Jarrett‘s status is uncertain for this season, with Jay Gruden telling media — including JP Finlay of CSNMidAtlantic.com — he’s “very concerned” about the lack of strength in Jarrett’s shoulder presently. A key backup and part-time starter as a rookie last season, Jarrett was injured in Week 17 against the Cowboys.

Zach Links contributed to this report

Eagles Place Jordan Hicks On IR

While initial reports suggested that Jordan Hicks‘ pectoral injury may not be severe, an MRI has confirmed that it’s torn, according to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports, who says (via Twitter) that the Eagles are placing the young linebacker on season-ending injured reserve. The team has since confirmed Glazer’s report (via Twitter)

Hicks, a third-round pick in this year’s draft, didn’t start out of the gate for the Eagles, but he has quickly developed into one of the defense’s top playmakers in his rookie season. In eight games, the 24-year-old has racked up 49 tackles, two interceptions, three fumble recoveries, and a sack.

With Hicks no longer active, the Eagles may add another linebacker to their roster to fortify the depth chart at the position. Veteran linebacker DeMeco Ryans is also believed to be close to recovering from his hamstring injury and returning to action.

Injury Updates: Hankins, Folk, Hicks, Ware

As is often the case on Mondays during the NFL season, there have already been multiple reports of season-ending injuries to key players for contending teams, with the Patriots losing running back Dion Lewis to a torn ACL, and the Colts placing defensive lineman Henry Anderson on IR due to the same injury. Here are a few more of Monday’s latest noteworthy injury updates from around the NFL:

  • Giants head coach Tom Coughlin confirmed today that defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins will undergo surgery for a torn pectoral, ending his season, per Dan Graziano of ESPN.com (Twitter link). While New York’s defensive line got a boost this weekend with the return of Jason Pierre-Paul, Hankins’ season-ending injury is another step back.
  • Jets kicker Nick Folk has a quadriceps strain, and isn’t expected to play this Thursday against the Bills, a league source tells Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Connor Hughes of the Journal Inquirer tweets that Billy Cundiff will be among the kickers getting a workout from the Jets as they seek a short-term replacement for Folk.
  • The Eagles‘ preliminary diagnosis of the pectoral injury suffered by Jordan Hicks suggests the linebacker should only miss two to four weeks, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. The team is awaiting the MRI results to confirm that diagnosis.
  • The Falcons also got good news regarding defensive tackle Tyson Jackson, whose rib injury is a contusion, rather than a fracture, according to Rapoport (via Twitter).
  • After re-aggravating his back injury, Broncos pass rusher DeMarcus Ware is expected to miss the next two to four weeks or so, tweets Rapoport.
  • Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams is expected to miss the team’s next two games, a league source tells Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News (Twitter link).
  • The Ravens announced today that second-year defensive end Brent Urban has been cleared to return to practice. Urban, who began the season on injured reserve with the designation to return, can now be activated within the next three weeks to avoid landing on season-ending IR.

Draft Signings: Eagles, Steelers, Bengals, Jags

Coming into today, fewer than 90 players selected in the 2015 NFL draft remained unsigned, with well over half of this year’s 256 draftees having reached agreements with their respective teams. A few more rookie have struck deals with their clubs today, so let’s round up the latest news, with all contract info coming from Over the Cap:

  • The Eagles have finished deals with all six of their draftees, agreeing to terms today with third-round linebacker Jordan Hicks, according to the team (Twitter link). Hicks’ four-year deal will be worth a little under $3MM, including a signing bonus of about $653K.
  • The Steelers have signed fifth-round tight end Jesse James to his rookie contract, leaving the team with three unsigned picks, including first-rounder Bud Dupree (Twitter link via the club’s official account).
  • The Bengals have signed tight end C.J. Uzomah, their fifth-round pick out of Auburn, the team announced today (via Twitter). The second tight end selected by Cincinnati in the draft, Uzomah will count against the Bengals’ cap for just over $488K in 2015, assuming he makes the regular season roster.
  • The Jaguars have now locked up half their draft picks, signing seventh-round tight end Ben Koyack to his contract today, per John Oehser of Jaguars.com (Twitter link). Koyack will receive a signing bonus worth approximately $69K on his first NFL deal.